WaterAid Liberia, in partnership with WASH Stakeholders and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), has called on the government to strengthen the health care system through the provision of adequate water, sanitation and hygiene.The group made the call on Monday, August 8, in a joint communiqué addressed to the Ministry of Health. They want the government to give post-Ebola recovery for water, sanitation and hygiene the highest priority.Presenting the letter to Deputy Health Minister, Dr. Francis Kateh, the chairman of the Liberia WASH CSOs Network, Prince Kreplah, said the action by the group is intended to urge government to improve the health sector.Kreplah, however, commend the government for strides made to improve WASH in health care facilities across the country, adding that the government should exert more effort to deliver on its health and WASH promises.In response, Deputy Health Minister Kateh thanked WaterAid and WASH’s CSO partners for their continued work, and agreed that the issue of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are crucial to the health care delivery system of the country.Dr. Kateh, who is also the nation’s Chief Medical Officer, appealed to Liberians to take their health seriously, especially when it involves water.Following the presentation of the letter to the Health Ministry, a press conference was held to address key health and WASH issues.The Chairman of the Liberia NGOs Network, George Kayah, commended the government and development partners for steps taken to improve WASH and health care delivery but noted that despite these efforts there still remain serious deficiencies in water, sanitation and hygiene in rural communities, hospitals and clinics.WASH Coordinator at the Health Ministry, Wataku Kortima, disclosed that the government has put in place WASH protocols to ensure that water, sanitation and hygiene play a key role in the country’s health care delivery system.He urged collaborative efforts among CSO actors as well as Liberians to ensure that challenges affecting the health sector are resolved. The Health Ministry has started the training of health care workers on WASH protocols and the essence of WASH in health, he added.Speaking on behalf of the British Charity WaterAid in Liberia, Program Effectiveness Coordinator Samuel Quirmolue indicated that WaterAid will continue to support the government and local partners in the sector to improve WASH and make it accessible.Meanwhile, a baseline report released on water, sanitation and hygiene in health facilities in 2015 found out that about 95 percent of health care facilities do not meet the Ministry of Health’s standards on water quantity for all purposes.More than 50 percent of health facilities do not have a protected year–round source of water, and 20 percent do not have any protected source on site.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The WHO advises that people get a vaccine at least 10 days before travelling to a yellow-fever area. Photo: AFPBrazil is fighting an outbreak of yellow fever that has killed at least 40 people in two months, officials say.The health ministry said in a report Tuesday that it was the highest rate of deaths recorded from the disease in 14 years.Yellow fever is carried by monkeys and can be transmitted to humans by mosquito bites.It can be prevented by a common vaccine.But the ministry’s infectious diseases chief Eduardo Hage told AFP that 22 infections had recently been detected in Espirito Santo state, where vaccines are not carried out because it is considered a low-risk area.Hage said it was not likely to reach urban non-vaccine areas since there were not enough mosquitos to spread it.“We are in a state of alert, but there is no cause for panic,” Hage said.The fever cause shivers, aches and vomiting. In severe cases it can be deadly, causing kidney and liver failure and hemorrhages.Brazil is recovering from an outbreak of the Zika virus, which authorities say has caused brain damage in thousands of newborn babies over the past year.